His Brother’s Keeper
Release Date: December 22, 2004
Starring: Don Cheadle, Nick Nolte, Sophe
Okonedo, Joaquin Phoenix, and
Genre: Historical Drama
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Runtime: 121 minutes
Director: Terry George
Executive Producer: Hal Sadoff, Martin F. Katz,
Duncan Reid, Sam Bhembe,
Roberto Cicutto, and Francesco
Producer: A. Kitman Ko and Terry George
Writer: Keir Pearson and Terry George
Address Comments To:Kirk Kerkorian, CEO
Alex Yemenidjian, Chairman
2500 Broadway Street
Santa Monica, CA 90404-3061
Phone: (310) 449-3000
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GENRE: Historical Drama
In the story, Don Cheadle plays Paul Rusesabagina, who rises through the ranks of a hotel chain based in France, to become manager of the Hotel Milles Collines in Kigali, the capitol of Rwanda. The country is ruled by the Hutu tribe, which makes life difficult for the former leaders, the Tutsis, who comprise about 15 to 20 percent of the population. In April 1994, assassins murder the Hutu dictator, and roaming bands of a radical Hutu militia start murdering every Tutsi and moderate Hutu they can find. Paul is a Hutu moderate, and his wife is a Tutsi, so they are potential victims of this genocide.
One night, Paul feels he can no longer protect his family in their house, so he moves them to the hotel. There, the white hotel administrator and the UN forces abandon them. Paul must cleverly negotiate with a friendly Hutu general and his own bosses in France to protect his family, and the 1,200 Tutsis and Hutus who have fled to his hotel for safety. Only his courage and intelligence can help them now.
HOTEL RWANDA is a tense, exciting story of one man’s tremendous bravery. It shows the chaos and madness that shook his country for 100 days. Don Cheadle turns in a commanding performance as Paul. Sophie Okonedo gives a powerful performance as Paul’s wife, Tatiana. HOTEL RWANDA has a very strong moral worldview that speaks out against racism and extols courage, family, intelligence, and risking one’s life for others. It also contains strong Christian references associated mostly, but not entirely, with Paul’s wife. These references imply that God and Jesus are helping Paul, but the movie could have made this more explicit.
The shame of Rwanda is that, according to figures from 2001, 56 percent of the population is supposed to be Roman Catholic and 26 percent is supposed to be Protestant. Yet, according to some news reports, racism and resentment are still prevalent in that country, where about 51 percent of the populace suffer from some form of the deadly sexually transmitted disease, AIDS.
Were it not for a couple “f” words, MOVIEGUIDE® could have rated HOTEL RWANDA a Plus One on our moral acceptability scale. Despite this problem, it is an important movie that deserves to be seen.
HOTEL RWANDA is an amazing, ultimately uplifting, reconstruction of a tragic, troubling time. Don Cheadle turns in a commanding performance as Paul. Sophie Okonedo gives a powerful performance as Paul’s wife. Best of all, HOTEL RWANDA has a very strong moral worldview that extols courage, family, intelligence, and risking one’s life for others. Although there is foul language and violence, the movie contains strong Christian references.